Sunday, August 5, 2012


In the novel Anna Karenina, there is a scene that just about did me in.  Anna has left her husband and her beloved son to be with her lover Vronsky.  She has a baby with him but she continues to miss her son.  Vronsky and Anna go back to Moscow and she is determined to see her son.  She write a letter to a woman who is involved with his care and gets a letter back refusing to let her see him.  She finds a way to get into the house and finds him sleeping in his bed.
  "Serezha, my dear little boy," she uttered, catching her breath and embracing his plump little body.
  " Mama!" he muttered, wriggling about in her arms so as to touch them with different parts his body.
Sleepily smiling with closed eyes, he moved his plump hands from the back of his bed to her shoulders, leaning against her in that sweet scent of sleepiness and warmth which only children possess, and began rubbing himself against her neck and shoulder.
  "I knew!" he said, opening his eyes.  Today is my birthday.  I knew you would come!  I'll get up directly."

Serezha has been told that she is dead but never believed it.  After he wakes up, they have a sweet reunion where he reassures her that he didn't believe he was dead.  They spend time together until her husband comes and she has to leave quickly.

There is something in that scene that triggered my grief over leaving our foster son in China.  The scene of the sleepy boy in bed and calling "Mama" and cuddling just reminds me of early mornings with our little guy. The grief that I have is so, so deep.  It's an ache in my heart every minute of every day.  It's a hole that will never be completely filled.

I also recently read Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell is a story of her deep friendship with the writer Caroline Knapp and Caroline's death by lung cancer.  The story didn't move me all that much and I read about her death fairly dry eyed.  But when she writes about having to put down her aging dog...that scene brought me to sobbing for quite a long time.

There are no real triggers for my grief.  I just miss our little boy.  It's something to work through and to work through well and deeply.  I am so thankful that we are not in a situation where we have had to put him back in  an unsafe situation.  He is in a wonderful situation waiting to go to his forever family.  But we miss him-his Mama, his Baba and his Jie Jie.  It's a painful road for us right now.


  1. I love that you own your grief and pain and allow them to be. Thanks for sharing with us. Hurting for you all and sending hugs and prayers your way.

  2. Thank you for offering up the beauty and courage of your grief. You show us time and again the gloriousness of what it means to be deeply rightly human--loving and loved--walking through aching loss admixed with new joy.

  3. Oh Sandy, my heart hurts for you and your family andyour little guy.